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From Wonderland To Hollywood: The Journey To My Dream

The Huffington Post logo The Huffington Post 29/03/2016 Jonah Bryson

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As a kid, I loved nature. But I also loved art. Around the age of 9, I started animating my LEGOs, using a small picture camera. Not long after, I began to film with that camera, and before I knew it, I was on to my first big project, titled Jonah In Wonderland. What was supposed to be 5 minutes long and take a week to make, ended up being 1 hour long, and took over a full year to accomplish.
My movie, Jonah In Wonderland, was based off of Tim Burton's Alice In Wonderland (2010). Tim Burton was, and is still to this day, my favorite director. Burton's backstory and style was something I could really connect with as kid. His work still fascinates me today.
Jonah In Wonderland was truly a 1 man production. I played every single role in the film (besides the role of the dog, played by my dog, Vera), as well as edited and directed the movie. By taking up the whole living room to set up the Mad Hatter's tea party table, and covering our garage wall's with a green screen (made using cheap green fabric), I was able to place myself in Lewis Carroll's Wonderland. Though this project may have seemed silly at the start, it was the beginning of my journey to becoming a film director - the beginning of the journey to my dream.
Everything seemed to come full circle when I had the chance to meet Mia Wasikowska, the actress who played Alice in Burton's Alice In Wonderland, after completing my movie.
Without this film, I probably wouldn't be doing the things I'm doing today, because that film caught the attention of Tim Burton's colleagues Drew Lightfoot. Drew saw the passion and determination in that film, and became my first and biggest mentor in this industry - giving me advice, talking to me about the industry, and introducing me to producers and other filmmakers that could help me make my visions a reality.
Jumping ahead several years, following many attempts to get in touch with Rob Stewart, my favorite documentary filmmaker as a kid, Rob emailed me back asking if I wanted to create a film with him - eventually becoming the co-director of the picture. It was an honor. To be the first person direct a film with Rob was a huge honor.
2016-03-28-1459193869-9945608-JonahBrysonJonahBrysonBala1.jpg © Provided by The Huffington Post 2016-03-28-1459193869-9945608-JonahBrysonJonahBrysonBala1.jpg (Image: Jonah Bryson on Red Carpet at the North American Premiere of the film he directed with Rob Stewart) 2016-03-28-1459193763-5395244-JonahBrysonWaterDocsRedCarpet1.jpg © Provided by The Huffington Post 2016-03-28-1459193763-5395244-JonahBrysonWaterDocsRedCarpet1.jpg (Image: Jonah Bryson on Red Carpet at the North American Premiere of the film he directed with Rob Stewart)
Early this year, I had the chance to meet with CNN's Larry King in New York City. Having the chance to sit down with him at his hotel was not only an incredible experience, but a moment that gave me incredible hope that my dreams might be able to come true one day.
2016-03-28-1459193304-3135005-JonahBrysonJonahBrysonandLarryKing.jpg © Provided by The Huffington Post 2016-03-28-1459193304-3135005-JonahBrysonJonahBrysonandLarryKing.jpg (Jonah Bryson pictured moments before meeting Larry King) 2016-03-28-1459193194-3456477-JonahBrysonNYC1.jpg © Provided by The Huffington Post 2016-03-28-1459193194-3456477-JonahBrysonNYC1.jpg (Jonah Bryson in New York City)
I am currently directing A Sweet Spot in Time. To learn more about that film, please visit my Facebook page.


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